The Yankees have hired former major league outfielder Brad Wilkerson as assistant hitting coach, the team announced Monday.
Wilkerson spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Jacksonville University.
"My future role with the Yankees is just being there for the hitters," Wilkerson told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "It's talking to them about baseball, about situational hitting and decisions, when they're going to swing and why they're going to swing. It's just seeing the baseball and getting these guys right, moreso mentally than physically, in a lot of ways. It's just making sure their minds are clear and prepared each and every night."
A first-round pick by the Montreal Expos in 1998, Wilkerson had a solid pro career, slashing .247/.350/.440 with 122 home runs, 399 RBI and 500 runs scored over eight seasons with the Expos/Nationals, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays. He finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2002.
Wilkerson replaces Hensley Meulens as one of the team's assistant hitting coaches, as Meulens was named the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies in November.
Wilkerson joins Casey Dykes as an assistant hitting coach under primary hitting coach Dillon Lawson.
"I was always a guy that was a pretty patient hitter -- aggressive, but patient," Wilkerson told MLB.com. "The biggest thing for me is, you've got to get a good pitch to hit and hit it hard when it comes. Obviously we dig down deep in the cages and we work on mechanics, but I'm big on the mental approach and making sure with these guys that their minds are clear."